What doesn’t kill you ma…

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Talk about your dog days of summer.  This summer has been nothing short of scorching!  I’ve tried hunkering down inside the house as much as possible.  So what have I been doing?  A little bit of everything.  And a lot of writing related things.

I’m still working on the second book in my mystery series.  : (

Lesson learned: never say when a book will be out until it has been edited and proofed and is ready to go.

I was naive enough to believe that I’d write two books in the series this year.  Life intruded.  And it didn’t happen.  I put all kinds of pressure on myself to produce this book before it was ready.

Even though I was reasonably happy with the book, the editor wasn’t entirely.  She knew I was capable of putting out a stronger book.  And that’s what I’m doing.  Fixing it to be the best it can be.

Lesson learned:  Hang in there to produce your best product and retain your readership.  A book not up to par can turn off readers.  We work hard enough to entertain in the first place.  Don’t do less than your absolute best.

Part of the “problem” – if you can call it that – with this book is that I was facing some life issues when I wrote the first part of the book.  Nothing serious, but just enough to mess with my muse.  Evidently my voice went into hiding for the first 75 pages or so.  But then, it reappeared and as the editor said, my writing sparkled.  So now I’m trying to put that sparkle into the first 75 pages.  To do that, I had to slash those pages, start the story in a different place and now I have to weave in storylines to go with that revised beginning.

Lesson learned:  Protect my voice. Don’t let life take the joy out of my writing.  And that’s a huge lesson to learn.  Life is hard enough without losing your joy in anything that you do.

I pride myself in trying to stay upbeat in all kinds of situations.  And I can usually do it.  But I couldn’t fool my inner voice.  She took all of my stress and ran with it.

Bottom line:  The book will be done when it’s done.  I’m not even speculating when that will be.  It is what it is.  And I’m hoping the third book, which is plotted out and ready to be written, will be patient with me while I revise the 2nd book.


What Have I Been Up To Lately?

Wow, I just checked my blog and realized that I didn’t post at all in March.  So what have I been doing?

I’ve been writing.  A lot.  The book is coming along, and I’m pleased with it so far.

In each book I write, I learn something new either about writing or about myself.  This time it’s a little of both.

The book I’m working on is the second in the River City Mystery series, Your Time is Up.  Since I thought I knew the characters, I went ahead and worked diligently on plot.  But it seems I didn’t know the characters as well as I thought.  They had some ideas of their own.

Already they have stopped me from killing off the intended murder victim.  And they were right!  The book is much stronger with this character alive – at least alive on the page.  I tend to talk about my characters like they are real people, because they kind of are to me.  Some interesting plot twists and turns have been created by their decision.

I also am learning a lot more about book 3 – Your Lights are Out – as I write this book.  The characters will say to me, “That’s really cute.  Save it for book 3.  It’ll work better there.” So I have notes galore on things to incorporate in future books.

And the main thing I’m learning is to trust that inner writer’s voice.  Life – especially a writer’s life – is so much easier when you stop swimming against the tide and just float.

I still have a lot more floating to do before I can call this book finished.  But instead of the backstroke, I’m definitely doing a nice dog paddle toward the end.

So have any of you discovered that it’s much easier to float than fight?